BEACHWOOD – The fireworks over the Toms River, an iconic event that’s been celebrated for generations, has been officially cancelled for 2020.
Despite Toms River being in the name, the event is actually put on by Beachwood officials and several local volunteers. A letter from Beachwood Mayor Ron Roma delivered the bad news.
“The fireworks on the Toms River historically draws very large crowds (often exceeding 15,000 people in size) and having such a large concentration of people in such a relatively confined area would make it nearly impossible to enforce the governor’s order to limit the number of persons allowed to attend outside gatherings,” he said.
“Maintaining proper social distancing is the responsibility of everyone and this governing body, having the health and safety of our citizens foremost in our minds,” he said.
The Beachwood Fireworks Committee, police, Emergency Management Services, and governing body made the decision together to cancel, he said.
“I realize that many people are deeply saddened by this tough decision. However, I also know that everyone wants to be safe and to do everything they can to help reduce the spread of this horrible virus,” he said.
Previously, the July 4 fireworks had been postponed to Labor Day in the hopes that the state would be through the coronavirus pandemic enough that large outside gatherings would be allowed again.
However, the numbers of new cases – while not nearly as bad as they were in July – are not slowing down as much as officials would like.
The Ocean County Health Department had said recently that summer gatherings have changed the demographics of who is sick. The average age for cases has gone down considerably. The median age went down from 54.8 to 35.
“We are looking forward to seeing a spectacular show on Independence Day next year and I hope you will be there to join with us in celebrating America’s 245th birthday,” Roma said.